The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names
In the 1960's, Blacks and Whites chose relatively similar first names for their children. Over a short period of time in the early 1970's, that pattern changed dramatically with most Blacks (particularly those living in racially isolated neighborhoods) adopting increasingly distinctive names, but a subset of Blacks actually moving toward more assimilating names. The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a model in which the rise of the Black Power movement influenced how Blacks perceived their identities. Among Blacks born in the last two decades, names provide a strong signal of socio-economic status, which was not previously the case. We find, however, no negative causal impact of having a distinctively Black name on life outcomes. Although that result is seemingly in conflict with previous audit studies involving resumes, we argue that the two sets of findings can be reconciled.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Amitabh Chandra, 2003. "Is the Convergence of the Racial Wage Gap Illusory?," NBER Working Papers 9476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2003. "The Economics of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 9904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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